The most recent on the Ukraine-Russia border disaster: Stay updates

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Ukraine's Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy, left, visits soldiers at a front line position in Novoluhanske, Ukraine, on February 19. (Timothy Fadek/Redux for CNN)
Ukraine’s Inside Minister Denys Monastyrskiy, left, visits troopers at a entrance line place in Novoluhanske, Ukraine, on February 19. (Timothy Fadek/Redux for CNN)

A CNN crew and different journalists accompanying Ukraine’s inside minister on a tour of the entrance traces in jap Ukraine got here underneath mortar fireplace Saturday.

Nobody was injured.

Inside Minister Denys Monastyrskiy sought cowl as a number of mortar rounds landed close by. Shortly after the shelling, he gave interviews to worldwide media in Novoluhanske. 

A few dozen mortar rounds landed inside a number of hundred meters of the group.

Talking to CNN previous to leaving the world, Monastyrskiy mentioned, “We spoke with troopers on the bottom. The spirit is extremely courageous and all guys are prepared for any situation.”

He mentioned that it had been his first time underneath fireplace. He advised reporters that he was within the automotive en route they usually needed to cease each time they heard shelling and lay on the bottom.

At a information convention later in Kramatorsk, Monastyrskiy was requested by CNN what position Ukraine believed that Russian army advisers had been enjoying within the combating within the jap a part of the nation. 

“We now have details about the advance of the Russian military alongside our territory,” he mentioned. “There’s additionally info that sure models of the Wagner PMC have entered our territory. The aim of the keep is to prepare sabotage in our territory.”

Some background: Wagner is a personal Russian paramilitary pressure that has lengthy been related to the separatists in jap Ukraine and has additionally deployed to Libya, Syria and the Central African Republic, amongst different international locations.

The Russian authorities denies any reference to Wagner or different personal army contractors.

Over the previous few days, the Ukrainian armed forces have reported a surge in heavy weapons fireplace towards Ukrainian positions alongside what is called the road of contact.  

The Ukrainian Ministry of Protection mentioned that via 17:00 native time (10 a.m. ET) Saturday, “70 violations of the ceasefire regime had been recorded by the Russian occupation forces, 60 of which by utilizing weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements.”

The ministry additionally mentioned that two Ukrainian serviceman had been killed and 4 wounded on Saturday.

The Ukrainian Protection Minister Oleksiy Reznikov repeated in a Fb submit Saturday that Ukraine had no plans to launch an offensive towards the breakaway regions, as claimed by the leaders of the self-declared Luhansk and Donetsk republics. 

“We don’t plan any offensives, however we won’t enable the firing on the positions of our troops and human settlements with impunity,” Reznikov mentioned.

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